PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. --
Brig. Gen. Laurie M. Farris attended a Chief’s Group meeting on February 01, 2018, here.
Farris, who took command of the New Hampshire Air National Guard and became an assistant adjutant general for the state last month, used this opportunity to build rapport with her team of senior enlisted Airmen.
“I want to hear from them and make sure I get what matters in my heart across to them,” said Farris, with hands clasped and brow furrowed in a look of concentration. “I want them to know I trust them.”
During the meeting, Farris discussed her priorities which include continued preparations for the KC-46 conversion, the development of Airmen and the maintenance of the Wing’s Guard identity.
She also took time to discuss the importance of tackling issues involving diversity.
“Let’s ask questions and seek to understand,” said Farris. “If our leaders start to talk about diversity and other important issues, we can really make a difference.”
Amongst the meeting attendees was Chief Master Sgt. Dean A. Rice, the equipment flight superintendent assigned to the 157th Maintenance Group, here.
Rice expressed appreciation for Farris’ input.
“I found it very refreshing,” said Rice. “She has a good common sense, down-to-earth approach.”
After sharing her priorities, Farris asked the chiefs to voice their concerns.
Rice took time during an interview to explain what he needs from Farris, as a commissioned leader, in order to be successful.
“I need direction and guidance,” said Rice.
As the 157th MXG equipment flight superintendent, Rice oversees much of maintenance preparations for the upcoming KC-46 Pegasus conversion.
Rice reflected on what he needed from Farris, as a commissioned leader, in order for him to be successful.
“It’s important to me that she be able to answer questions we have about the conversion, such as when we will begin divesting from the KC-135 as well as getting our Airmen trained up,” said Rice. “If we can remain informed, we can better prepare our Airmen for what’s to come.”
In Farris’ new role, she will be responsible for the command, control and operation of plans of programs of over 1300 New Hampshire ANG Airmen here.
“To me, my job is to stay plugged in nationally,” said Farris, gesturing with one hand toward her chest. “Whenever I go and interact at the readiness center, I take the needs of the base with me, so I can advocate for Pease.”
Farris acknowledged how important it will be for her to tap the leaders around her for that feedback.
“I’m not by myself here,” said Farris. “I have excellent people such as Maj. Melinda Fuller and Col. Paul Loiselle and many many more who act as my eyes and ears throughout this organization.”
Farris acknowledged the increased reach she has now as the ATAG and commander of the New Hampshire ANG.
“I realize that I have more of a voice and platform now than I’ve ever had,” said Farris. “I plan to be a presence, gaining that facetime with my Airmen so that I can effectively advocate for them.”